First, a hearty “thank you!” to readers who pointed out that the Allie Beckstrom books had incorrect dates on Amazon (and were therefore un-orderable). I am happy to say my awesome publisher, Roc, fixed that the glitch, and the books are once again back in their own time zones (and orderable!)
Since MAGIC WITHOUT MERCY will be out in just over seven weeks, I thought it might be fun to start posting snippets. This is a tricky book to pull excerpts from without going all spoilery everywhere, since it’s the second-to-last book in the series, but I shall try my best.
Let’s start things off with something light:
Excerpt: MAGIC WITHOUT MERCY
Shame strolled in with a shoe box. “Here we are.”
“You put them in a shoe box?” Maeve asked. “Shamus, these are invaluable. Heirlooms.”
“Which is why I stuck them in a shoe box. Safekeeping.”
He placed the box on the coffee table and lifted the lid. The soft scent of roses filled the room.
“I didn’t know you’d kept these, Maeve,” Victor said. “Hugh did fine work.”
“Yes, he did,” she said wistfully. “But as you can see, I didn’t keep them. Shamus did. So then, do they still work?”
“I think so.” Shame reached into the box and pulled out a long string with square black metal beads strung on it. “We have enough for”—he quickly counted—“six of us. So one of us will go without and buddy up. Draw straws?”
“Let’s see if they work first,” Hayden said.
Shame unstrung the beads and handed each person twelve beads and a silver bracelet with a channel carved into it so that the beads could slide into the channel.
Everyone got busy slipping the beads, apparently in a specific order, into their bracelet. Shame looked at Zayvion and me. “Which of you wants to wear it?”
“Allie,” Zayvion said quickly.
“No,” I said, “not Allie. If it’s got magic in it, I’ll probably break out in a rash or worse. And even if it doesn’t, I have no idea how it works. Is it like a phone?”
“Not at all,” Shame said with a grin.
“It’s a code,” Zayvion said. He stepped over so that he was right in front of me, head bent, the bracelet he was threading the beads into between us. “The beads represent numbers and the numbers represent letters or sentences in a book.”
“What book?” I asked.
“And you’re not joking,” I said.
His lips quirked into a smile. “This isn’t magic, Allie. This is a little trick Shame’s dad put together when Shame was a kid. They actually run on batteries.” He tipped the bracelet so I could see the inside of the band where a little watch battery was inserted. “And the signal is on a frequency that gets boosted by magic. If you can recite Winnie-the-Pooh, you can decipher the coded messages sent and received.”
“Can you recite Winnie-the-Pooh?”
“In my sleep.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “You know I’ll find every way possible to tease you about that, right?”
“I have no doubt.”